January 17, 2014

Bitcoin Goes Mainstream

As followers of trends in e-commerce, our firm takes a keen interest in new e-payment methods. Last year, we predicted the Bitcoin would emerge as an innovative mode of currency for online transactions.  When Bitcoin – an alternative virtual currency – first appeared in the mainstream media, it was largely portrayed as a wonky, nerdy… Read More

December 18, 2013

The Bitcoin Bubble Hasn’t Burst Yet, But The First Signs Of Trouble Are Brewing

By: Karl Smith and Casselle Smith  The value of Bitcoin, the hottest and most widely traded virtual currency, plunged a little over a week ago, after China’s central bank issued a statement that the government is banning financial institutions from trading in the virtual currency.The price of a single Bitcoinfell from roughly $1200 on December… Read More

August 13, 2013

Law Enforcers Place Online Payday Lenders in Their Cross Hairs

At least six federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), are currently coordinating a broad crackdown of the online payday lending industry. The agencies are trying to shut down companies that offer short-term loans online at very high interest rates. The… Read More

June 3, 2013

What Are the Feds Looking At? Bitcoin Industry, Stay Awake

On May 28, 2013, federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging seven men with allegedly operating an organization known as “Liberty Reserve,” which prosecutors allege was established for the sole purpose of creating an illegal digital currency that could be used to launder money. This is a case that anyone involved in businesses that rely in… Read More

April 12, 2013

Are Investors Lining Up Behind Another and Better Bitcoin?

We have written previously about Bitcoin, the new form of “peer-to-peer” currency whose proponents expect to be a game-changer in the world financial markets. It’s not clear yet what Bitcoin’s ultimate destination will be, as the currency has had a lot of scrutiny, and undergone a tremendous amount of volatility, lately. In a recent 24-hour period, the value of a… Read More

April 10, 2013

SEC ‘Likes’ Public Company Disclosures on Facebook and Other Social Media

Last December, we wrote about the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s issuance of so-called “Wells” notices indicating that the agency was considering whether to bring enforcement proceedings against Netflix and its CEO, Reed Hastings. The SEC’s ire was aroused by a posting by Hastings on his personal Facebook page about Netflix’s success. The agency… Read More

April 9, 2013

What’s at the Bottom of the ‘Robosigning’ Scandal?

The problematic practice of robosigning – whereby banks and other lenders improperly foreclosed on properties through formulaically processing foreclosure documents – has been much in the news over the past couple of years. The feds have been investigating banks and individuals; state attorneys general have joined forces in pursuit of robosigners; and, unsurprisingly, there have… Read More

March 19, 2013

Treasury Department: Bitcoin Dealers Are Regulated Under Money-Laundering Laws

Timothy Lee at Forbes magazine has reported today that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a branch of the Treasury Department, has issued new guidelines on the legal status of Bitcoin under U.S. money laundering laws. Essentially, Bitcoin dealers have now been placed under the nation’s anti-money laundering regulations and must comply with those rules…. Read More

January 16, 2013

Bitcoins: Online Currency’s Uncharted Frontier

Bitcoin – it sounds like a token you might use to play skeeball at a beachside arcade. It is actually a relatively new, virtual online “currency” being used for payments across the Internet. While some observers have noted that the Bitcoin has been utilized primarily for purchases in the Internet “underworld,” the Bitcoin actually has… Read More